Red Sox vs. Orioles: Shane Victorino misses Opening Day, Mike Carp in left

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Shane Victorino is headed to the disabled list, leaving Boston's Opening Day lineup looking awfully questionable in the outfield.

The Red Sox' outfield situation is being put to the test right away. Despite his earlier reassurances, Shane Victorino is out of the Opening Day lineup (and on the disabled list), leaving Daniel Nava to fill in as the right fielder with Mike Carp playing in left field.

Boston Red Sox (0-0)

  1. Daniel Nava, RF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Mike Carp, LF
  6. Grady Sizemore, CF
  7. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  8. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Starting Pitcher -- Jon Lester

Baltimore Orioles (0-0)

  1. Nick Markakis, RF
  2. J.J. Hardy, SS
  3. Adam Jones, CF
  4. Chris Davis, 1B
  5. Nelson Cruz, LF
  6. Matt Wieters, C
  7. Delmon Young, DH
  8. Ryan Flaherty, 3B
  9. Jonathan Schoop, 2B

Starting Pitcher -- Chris Tillman

So let's address the elephant in the room: Mike Carp, Grady Sizemore, and Daniel Nava make for one bad defensive outfield. Even if Sizemore manages to be above average, there's no way he's making up for the relative immobility of his companions. Jon Lester would be well served to keep the ball on the ground today, because anything outside of the most routine of fly balls probably has a chance.

At the same time, this is a lineup with some very real firepower, and Camden is probably one of the better parks to risk this configuration in. Hopefully we'll see more of the Grady Sizemore - Jackie Bradley Jr. combination in places like Fenway and with fly ball pitchers like Jake Peavy, but the defensive hit does not come without its returns. Xander Bogaerts is batting seventh without John Farrell having to step through hoops to "extend" the lineup by batting a player higher than they deserve. If Will Middlebrooks actually manages to hit the ball some, this is a mighty scary starting nine for the opposing pitcher.

Still, defense is no longer the afterthought it seemed to become for so many years. This alignment will cost the Red Sox runs. The trick will be to find the spots where that's a worthwhile sacrifice, and where the weaknesses of Carp and Nava will be impossible to ignore. At least until Victorino gets himself healthy.

First pitch is at 3:05 p.m. EST. The usual local broadcasters will bring you the game on television and radio, with ESPN2 kicking in national coverage.

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